Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who's Running Whom? Toyota Spent $1.4 Million On 4Q Lobbying

The North American branch of automaker Toyota Motor Corp. spent $1.4 million lobbying Congress and the federal government during the fourth quarter on issues related to distracted driving, consumer protections and patents, according to a recent filing.

The company, part of the world's largest automaker, spent more in the fourth quarter than the $1.25 million it allotted to lobbying in the same quarter of 2008. It was also more than the $1.2 million Toyota spent on lobbying during the third quarter of 2009, according to a disclosure report filed Jan. 20 with the House clerk's office.

Toyota was dealing with the first of a string of recalls during the fourth quarter over issues of sudden unintended acceleration. But most of the automaker's major recall woes and bad publicity -- which included several congressional hearings - didn't develop until the beginning of 2010.

Among the issues that Toyota lobbied on were pedestrian safety, bills to curb texting while driving, a bill enacting new consumer protections and legislation to support the development of new vehicle technologies like electric power.

US House of Representative; Reuters; Wall Street Journal; AP.

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